As my daughter works is Palo Alto, California, her new home parkrun is Byxbee Park parkrun. I have joined her here four times now and really love this friendly, scenic run which takes place on the shores of San Francisco Bay.
Byxbee Park is a waterfront park on a reclaimed former landfill site on the edge of San Francisco Bay. It is on the outskirts of Palo Alto, around 4 miles east of downtown at the end of Embarcadero Road. There is no public transport to the park.
Palo Alto is around 30 miles south of San Francisco, or 20 miles south of San Francisco airport. Both are an easy drive down the freeway (I-101). You can catch the Caltrain to Palo Alto Station, which is 2 miles from the start. However, there isn’t a train which arrives in time for parkrun, which starts at 8 am.
It is a condition of holding the event in the park that parkrunners don’t use the main car park. However, there is plenty of free parking in Embarcadero Road, a short (5-10 minute) walk from the start. A car park marshal is on hand to direct and assist.
There is a cafe for post run drinks and snacks across the road at the Baylands Golf Club. Although, in my experience, someone often provides drinks and snacks at the finish, so we have never been to the cafe. My first visit coincided with Byxbee parkrun’s 50th event, so as an added bonus, there was cake.
There are toilets located right next to the start, plus drinking water.
The run takes place on The Adobe Creek Trail along the shore of San Francisco Bay. The route consists of two out and back loops. Once the run has started, the entire start/finish line setup is moved back a couple of hundred metres, which is a little disorientating when you return to the start and it’s moved.
The course follows a trail made of crushed oyster shells and, according to my Strava, had an elevation of zero, so pretty much as smooth and flat as it gets. However, as the route consists of two out and back loops, there are three 360 degree turns to negotiate.
Probably trainers. Although it’s a trail, it’s made of a very smooth mixture of crushed seashells and unless it rains (and we’re talking about California here) trail shoes shouldn’t be necessary.
The trail is smooth and pancake flat, so the only ‘difficulty’ is the three turns to negotiate.
In the US, parkrun is mostly an ex-pat affair, so it’s super friendly and very welcoming to visitors from out of town/overseas. Byxbee Park parkrun a pleasant route to run, along the side of the bay with its abundant bird life on one side and a hill covered with an architectural structure made of what look like telegraph poles on the other side. At one point, we were joined on the trail by a hare – proof that I really am the tortoise!